Joan Edwards, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competency
“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”- James Baldwin
There are many things that scare me like public speaking, going to the dentist, or explaining what sex is to my children. But these aren’t the types of fears that I want to talk about right now. How do we face the fear of talking with others when we know (or suspect) that their worldview is very different from ours? How do we push through that scary feeling of disagreement? Or worse yet, how do we handle that sickening feeling that the other person’s viewpoint represents a total misunderstanding about something that deeply affects us? Given the tenor of conversations this election season, I can tell that so many of us are afraid to offend or to be misunderstood. All of this while our youth watch us muddling through disagreements, arguments, and one-sided monologues. What are we to do?
From spending time with your children who ask excellent questions and who want to make sense of the world they will inherit, I have learned to be curious. The best way through this time is to move out of our corners in order to talk to each other with as much courage as we can muster. I believe that we all need to develop the capacity to listen compassionately, speak our truth courageously, and then reflect honestly so that your children and mine will no longer be afraid to learn from others who are different than they are.
Come visit Our Brave Space (between Mead Dining Hall and Conklin Library) if you are interested in exploring through conversation a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.